STARSTUFF: Paintings by Marc Lambrechts
On view at 12 Duke Street, St James's, SW1Y6BN
Ends on November 21, 2014
Just a few minutes' walking distance from the Royal Academy of Arts, London, where the retrospective of Anselm Kiefer's awe-inspiring cosmic art is on display, is another jewel of an exhibition that touches upon our Universe. STARSTUFF, noted Belgian-born, NY-based artist Marc Lambrechts' first solo exhibition in the U.K., brings together a body of work reflecting the artist's fascination with cosmology and the search for our place in the Universe—themes that have surfaced repeatedly in his work over the years. This intimate exhibition opened to warm public reception last week, coincidentally, on the same day when the European Space Agency’s Rosetta spacecraft successfully landed on a comet.
The diverse range of materials used in Lambrechts' paintings, such as ink, clay, plaster, and wood, are emblematic of the array of elements that make up our world – elements that were created from exploding stars. In some works, the ground material in its bare purity is but subtly treated to reveal its inherent beauty and order. His Lava series from 2013, for example, makes use of lava sands––the glittery black material from the guts of the planet on which we inhabit. To the eyes of any star-gazer, astronomer, or particle physicist, the events he depicts in paintings such as Events 3 (2013), Bubble Chamber 53 (2010), and Winter (2002) are recognizable as the natural events that they are. They are not, however, meant to be ‘exact’ depictions, as his work is “more poetry than scientific dissertation,” explains Lambrechts, “and it is the characteristics of these materials and the mystery of the Universal scale––the infinitely small and the infinitely big—that interest [him] most in creating [his] Starstuff.”
Marc Lambrechts (Belgian, b. 1955) was born in Lier, Belgium and currently lives and works in New York City, United States. Lambrechts’ early studies in art took place at the Higher Sint-Lucas Institute in Brussels, Belgium, after which he obtained a scholarship to study printmaking in Bratislava, Slovakia. Upon returning to Belgium, he started working as a visual artist in charge of graphics and displays at the Center for Brussels Amateur Theater. His prints soon received widespread acclaim, which led to collaborations with Moving Space Gallery in Ghent. In 1983, he moved to New York City and studied printmaking at the Pratt Institute, and was soon represented by Tibor de Nagy Gallery. His first New York exhibition with the gallery was featured in Art News.
As evident in this exhibition, Lambrechts’ training in printmaking is a key influence on his painted oeuvre. Also central to his painterly language and choice of media are his extensive travels to Southeast Asia and West Africa. Lambrechts has exhibited extensively throughout the United States and Europe, the most recent of which was Meeting in Brooklyn at the castle Alden Biesen, in Bilzen, Belgium (2014). His works are featured in private, corporate, and institutional collections worldwide, including The Mint Museum of Art, The Aldrich Museum for Contemporary Art, Proteck Pharmaceuticals, the David and Lucille Packard Foundation, and the Edward Albee Collection. He also served as guest professor at the Higher Institute for the Arts in Antwerp, Belgium. Lambrechts’ work is chronicled in Willem Elias’ Aspects of Belgian Art After 1945 and Twenty Five Years of Graphic Art in Flanders, and has been reviewed in well-known periodicals such as the New York Arts Magazine, the New York Times, Arts and Entertainment, Le Soir, and Kunst and Cultuur.
Exhibition STARSTUFF is presented by New York-based art curatorial collective SPARK+ (www.sparkplusart.com) in collaboration with Tomasso Brothers Fine Art (www.tomassobrothers.co.uk) in London, and is on view through Friday, November 21, 2014, at 12 Duke Street, St James's, SW1Y 6BN.
WATCH VIDEO ACCOMPANIMENT TO THE EXHIBITION